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The 7 - One Question... - How have you gotten through tough times? Register and log in to post!
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JayJayDean
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#1 Posted on 20.2.06 0928.07
Reposted on: 20.2.13 0928.24
Someone bumped the "mortality"-thread, and I thought about putting this in there but it seemed over-dramatic.

Has there ever been a time in your life when you just felt like things were bad and they were never going to turn around? When every day it took tremendous effort to just get out of bed in the morning? Or when every day seems like it several days long, and you feel like you've been feeling that way FOREVER and you can't even really remember what it feels like to be just light-hearted and happy and not carrying around this giant burden of whatever ever it is that you're going through? And no matter WHAT you're trying to do to get out of it not only does every song you hear on the radio or show that you see on TV or whatever you're trying to do to take your mind off things just remind you or give you time to think about what you're going through and you just never feel like there's any way you're ever going to be through it or over it or past it or that things are going to be back to normal?

There seem to be some pretty level-headed people on this board, and I have to believe that some of you guys have been through some pretty bad things, where you just felt like things could never get any worse, and yet, they kept getting worse anyway like you just wanted someone to let you in on what the plan was just so you would have some insight as to why you were the one who was chosen to have your life turned upside-down.

I feel so, um, what's a good non-offensive term...how about "un-manly" for posting this, but I don't care. I need help, like I'm just looking for some hope or something.
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Dexley's Midnight Jogger
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#2 Posted on 20.2.06 0959.20
Reposted on: 20.2.13 0959.24
This will sound cliche, but the answer I've relied on for the hardest of times would be to know that at some point down the road, things will get easier. A few months or weeks from now, you may be able to get out of bed with less effort. You won't spend every entire second thinking about the crap you are dealing with.

I've also found that for pretty much every situation, there are others who have been through it and will understand what you are going through.

Good luck.
cranlsn
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#3 Posted on 20.2.06 1032.37
Reposted on: 20.2.13 1032.39
More common sense, and not cliches (I hope).

When I had some rough times, part of what compounded my misery was beating myself up for "failing". Or even for "being such a wuss" about it.

It took several good friends to convince me that it was "OK" to feel down about this. Once I got over making myself feel worse for "feeling bad" about hard luck, the rest was relatively easy.

I took stock of everything good that I DID have, instead of dwelling on what I didn't. I was still alive and able to work to correct anything that had gone wrong.

Not that I took comfort in other's misery, but I did look around and realize that there were people FAR worse off than I. Even if I didn't have money, I found ways to help someone in some little way. Whether it was stopping to help someone change a flat tire, or helping an old lady to her car with her groceries.

It sounds trite, but realizing that I could still have a positive affect on someones life made me realize that it couldn't ALL be that bad.

And yes...things eventually got better...to end the cliche.

I wish you well in dealing with whatever you're going through. Besides us "anonymous" faces on the board, find someone who you can talk to.
too-old-now
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#4 Posted on 20.2.06 1122.58
Reposted on: 20.2.13 1127.58
I'll admit to going through a bout of depression myself, several years ago. Dealing with a TON of family issues, I recall several instances where I was feeling very helpless, frustrated, etc.

I don't want to sound trite either, but the "count your blessings" approach can work sometimes, but it only made me feel worse at other times.

For me, I had blamed a lot of my problems on my job. I finally realized I was unhappy with the direction my career was taking me, so I changed jobs. I felt better (or rather, more distracted) but within a couple of years it seemed I was just having other problems that were just getting me down.

I finally went to talk to a counselor, and it really helped me figure out what was going on. A lot of my problems revolve around lack of sleep, or not eating well (or timely). These contributed to me being in a bad mood and treating my loved ones poorly (nothing violent, but yelling at the kids isn't something I'm proud of either).
The counselor helped me recognize what contribute to the bad times, and I try (not always) to avoid them. I can go without much sleep (2-3 hours)for a few nights, but at least once in a while I need a few nights with 8 hours. The same with eating - if I get too hungry and tired I will not be happy with how I behaved.

The other thing I have learned is that there is nothing better to improve your mood than helping someone else out. I have done a LOT of volunteer work at non-profit groups, in areas that I felt I could contribute (if not financially). As couple of examples are I support our local library by assisting at set-ups and take-downs for the monthly used book sales. I also do a lot of work for our local food pantries - getting lots of different kinds of food or personal care items free with coupons. Then I donate it, sorting, putting it on the shelves of the food pantry or soup kitchen. The needs are great, but I have been able to a small part to help feed many families.

There are definitely people who can help you with depression, there is no shame in it. Personally I have doubts about taking medications for psychiatric issues - for family history reasons, but I do recognize they have been able to help many many people.

You're not unmanly for recognizing you have a problem, I would say you can become a better, happier man when you find you have successfully learned to deal with them. The road will not always be smooth, and it is not the destination but instead it is the journey itself where you will find happiness. You are in charge of the direction.

Best of luck.


DrDirt
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#5 Posted on 20.2.06 1217.43
Reposted on: 20.2.13 1218.00
I agree with the sentiments already expressed to a degree. However, faith, prayer, and realizing that there are people who care out there. Also realizing you aren't invincible and seeking support is okay. Cliche stuff, but true.
Leroy
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#6 Posted on 20.2.06 1315.23
Reposted on: 20.2.13 1319.39
I think seeing a therapist/counselor can be pretty invaluable in situations like these.

If your car isn't working, you don't hesitate taking it to a mechanic. So why is there such a hesitation to see someone when your brain isn't working right?
rinberg
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#7 Posted on 20.2.06 1421.00
Reposted on: 20.2.13 1422.09
Dittos on what everyone else has said but, when a particular day becomes overwhelming, I reduce my focus down to one task at a time. If I can make myself forget about the overdue bills, the late projects at work, etc., and just get one load of laundry folded & put away or just load the dishwasher, then I can pick the next task and focus exclusively on it. If I'm lucky, I can look back and see that I did accomplish a few things and sometimes it helps with my outlook overall.

But that's just a stopgap measure. Definitely seek professional (religous or otherwise) help if this is a constant issue rather than just being overwhelmed on occasion.
spf
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#8 Posted on 20.2.06 1724.21
Reposted on: 20.2.13 1724.58
I'll be honest...I drank a lot. For months I was hungover going into work at least 3-4 of the 5 days. I didn't really do anything to pull out so much as I got lucky and fell into some situations that made my life better.

So really my only thought is try to keep oneself together as best you can at all times. Either by will or luck maybe things will improve, and you want to be able to take advantage of that.
Quezzy
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#9 Posted on 20.2.06 1832.17
Reposted on: 20.2.13 1833.06
Well i'll go a completely different direction than spf and say that when I'm down I depend on my personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I've been through my own problems and I've seeked counselors, family and friends and none of it worked. It wasn't until I gave my life over to Christ that I came out of my depression. And the great thing is that HE is the only one who can be there for you 24/7 for the rest or eternity. Sure I still have my bad days, but then I always remember my favorite Bible Verses, James 1: 2 - 4. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." I guess the non-relgious version would be the old cliche that "what doesn't kill me only makes me stronger"

It also helps me to remember that God will never give you more than you can handle. So if it seems you're going through a hard time and everyone else is doing great, that's because God knows you can handle whatever it is you are going through, and that other person whose having a great life perhaps isn't strong enough to endure it. So in an odd way, the tougher trials you go through is actually like a compliment from God because he knows you're strong enough to endure, but only if you ask for His help and depend on Him.
Crimedog
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#10 Posted on 20.2.06 1904.15
Reposted on: 20.2.13 1905.31
You know something that I do that helps a lot? Just take a day and completely disconnect from everything. Maybe it's different for me because I'm a country boy, but every once in a while, if things are getting too hard to handle, I'll just disappear for a day. Take a day off, turn the cell phone off and just go somewhere. Usually I'll go back where near I grew up and head off in to the woods for a while. Find a nice spot and just sit and relax. I don't tell anybody where I'm going, there's no way to get in touch with me and I just relax and try to work things through.

It's amazing how much of a difference it can make. And sometimes, when you're just putting everything aside and not worrying about anything for 24 hours, you realize things that you never thought of before that make a huge difference. And sometimes it's nice to NOT have anybody to talk to or lean on for a little while. Just focus on yourself for a bit and either think about things or don't.

Another approach is to focus on the little things that DO go right. You mentioned something about it being a struggle to get out of bed in the morning. While that's perfectly understandable, try looking at it from the other side. That's something you can control. In any given day, there are several things that you can look at as small successes. Focus on those and do them to the best of your ability. There are sometimes things that you just can't control. Don't try to. Focus on the things you can have a say in.

Also, don't be afraid to try ANYTHING. Everybody handles things in a different way and there's no right or wrong answer. For some people therapy works; other people throw themselves in to their jobs. You never know what it might be that turns things around, so don't discount anything because you think it might not "be you."

Finally, ignore anybody who tells you that you're not "man enough" or that you're somehow weak for going to therapy or disappearing for a while or sitting down and having a good cry. Whatever works for you is what you need to do, regardless of how it may be perceived by other people. Focus on getting yourself into a better position first and foremost. That's what's most important.
AWArulz
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#11 Posted on 20.2.06 2027.47
Reposted on: 20.2.13 2027.49
I haven't read the other responses, but I scanned 'em real quick. I saw one was about faith in Christ.

Here's my story. I was 30. For me, it was being ancient. Had a kid. A wife. A house. Morgage. Job. Responsibility. I started to feel bad for me. All that pressure. I didn't get a promotion. Blah blah blah. So I started to get high just a little bit more, including during the day. I started to come home, then go out an do nothing but be away from the house. I thought many times about how much better they would be without me.

Sorry. Mad at myself and mad at the world. I became a Christian in my senior year in highschool and married a girl that was in my youth group. After our marriage. I went to church with her regularly, but had mostly stopped.

One day it all came to a head. Steph told me I was going in the wrong direction. So my decision was to just try Jesus again. I started to go to church again. I read through the Bible. My wife and I prayed together.

And I'd say it took about 6 months, but I climbed out of it. And it was following Jesus again instead of following me. Here's what I think: I know some folks don't believe it God or gods or whatever, but I think that built in to each of us is a hole that needs to be filled in. I think it's a God-sized hole.

That's how it went with me.

drjayphd
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#12 Posted on 20.2.06 2106.52
Reposted on: 20.2.13 2107.12
Started about a year after I got my degree. Couldn't get any job, running out of money, couldn't even get an interview. I leaned on my girlfriend hardcore. I just needed something-anything-to go my way. Knew it couldn't last forever, and wouldn't ya know it, she was able to hook me up with something. It wasn't what I wanted, but it was a paycheck. Which turned into enough money that I could start freelancing, which turned into the job I've got now. I knew things would get better, because they basically had to. She knew that it wouldn't go on, and all I needed was a chance, so it helps when your girlfriend was in the business you want to be in.
Oliver
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#13 Posted on 22.2.06 0743.45
Reposted on: 22.2.13 0746.11
A slight story:

I live in the Vancouver area: and the worst area in Canada is here: it's called Downtown Eastside, and it's chock full of whinos, losers, druggies, hookers, and everything. I read that that section of town has the entire country trumped when it comes to low income per capita. It's basically "povertyville".

So, when I go through tough times, I do one of two things: I'll either remind myself that I do NOT want to go there, and I do NOT want to end up there, but if I need more reassurance, I'll actually walk through the area and see it first hand. That inspires me enough to realize that what's going on in my life isn't half as bad as what's going on in the lives of the residents in the DTES.

Second, if you have a girlfriend, communicate with her. Screw the entire "manly" thing...I'll can tell you for a fact that it's very UNmanly to NOT communicate with your certain special someone. It's often amazing how a second opinion on a situation can make you feel.

Similar to what Crimedog suggested...sometimes even a change of environment for a few days can help. Do you have friends who live out of town? Call in sick to work on the Friday, head to their place, and spend the weekend there, and talk things through.

Someone once told me that a storm looks completely different from the outside of it. Maybe there's some truth to that.
Roy.
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#14 Posted on 8.3.06 0027.03
Reposted on: 8.3.13 0027.39
Haven't checked this forum in a while. This thread spoke to be a bit...

About four and a half years ago, I found myself depressed. I reacted badly to the ending of a relationship that I thought would last a lot longer than she did. My self-esteem was at an all time low. I stopped taking care of myself. Social drinking went from lighthearted fun to bouts of either absolute rage or absolute misery. My school work suffered, mostly because I'd stay in bed all day from time to time.

I was pissed at everybody. Myself, my ex, most of my friends (because they had good lives, mostly). I also was extremely pissed at God, because I couldn't believe that His plan involved me being so miserable and disfunctional.

After literally a year, I got the courage to admit that I needed help. I found help from a wonderful counselor who went out of her way to help me, and later on, I found a great support group to talk with and sort things out with. I also believe that some of that stuff is chemical. I was on meds for a time (Zoloft). I've heard horror stories from people on meds, but aside from a slight weight gain, I didn't really notice anything negative.

Probably the single most important thing that I did was I let people in. I kept pushing two friends away from me. Hell, at the time, they weren't even close friends. They lived across the hall from me in the dorms, but they'd go out of their way to invite me to lunch or dinner or parties. They helped me realize (they didn't know it at the time) that life wasn't so bad, and that good things can pop out of nowhere. They're my brothers now.

I also think my relationship with God is much better. My depression was a part of me. I'm not sure that He chose my suffering as much as I chose to suffer myself. He gave me all the tools to save myself, it just took a while for me to realize what I needed to do. It probably doesn't make any sense to read it, but I made sense to me.

I hope you find the help you seek.
MoeGates
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#15 Posted on 8.3.06 1949.47
Reposted on: 8.3.13 1952.06
This is going to sound weird: Make sure to shower, groom, and dress nice every morning. Doesn't matter what you're doing, even if you plan on staying inside all day. You'd be surprised how much better you'll feel about yourself if you do this, and it's a pretty easy thing to do.

Also accept any and all invitations, or chances to be social. And I definitely second the "go volunteer someplace" thing.
Eddie Famous
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#16 Posted on 9.3.06 2214.25
Reposted on: 9.3.13 2214.26
After I had the gastric bypass, I was one of the unlucky 3% or so to have a major infection in the incision. Basically, the doctor came in and opened my wound back up completely with his finger. So here I was, back in the hospital around Christmas, with a 20 cm long, 2.7 cm deep gash in my belly. I was sent home with it open, and eventually had to carry around a "Wound-Vac" for over a month, not working, unable to drive, and now not even able to eat solid food (thanks to the bypass). It would have been very easy to lose it during the recovery time, but I had a solid support system of family, and, luckily, more than enough sick time thanks to not calling in for evey cold or pneumonia.

Anyway, when laying there basically unable to do much of anything enjoyable, what I always kept in the forefront was the fact that I was more than likely going to get better. There were other people who didn't have that hope. I would be disrespecting them if I started feeling sorry for myself.

Faith helped immensely. Also, I didn't look down One look at the inside of me moving around like that was enough thank you.
Lexus
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#17 Posted on 10.3.06 1441.43
Reposted on: 10.3.13 1441.48
When I'm impacted by high stress and anxiety, I usually start telling jokes. Never underestimate the healing power of laughter.

Also, meditation is great. Breathe in through the nose while counting to 3, exhale through the mouth counting to 6. Physically you are deflating yourself and slowing your bodies internal processes, just like sleeping. I usually try to zone my mind out, think about nothing, and voila, everything that's around me is the only thing I'm experiencing.

I know this all sounds terribly crack pot, but if you're miserable what have you got to lose?
El Nastio
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#18 Posted on 14.3.06 1411.33
Reposted on: 14.3.13 1411.54
"It all comes down to a simple choice really....get busy living or get busy dying"

- Andy, from The Shawshank Redemption.

I love that line, although I'd be careful who you say it to.



Last year I was homeless (slept in bus shelters during the winter). I have a disease which isn't fatal, but gets worse every winter. I'll need an cane or some sort of help walking by the age of 35 or so (according to doctors). I've been laid off three times the past two years.

Throughout all of that, I've still kept hope. Hope things will get better. Hope that things will turn around. Hope that not all is lost. And hope that no matter what happens to me here in this life, there is still the life of the world to come.

The things of this world will come and go. Nothing will last forever. Clothes will tear, food will rot, homes will be damaged. Everything on this earth has an expiry date. These things are called "temporal goods". "Temp". Temporary. This world won't last. But the world to come? Oh, that one will. Count on it.

I don't look at my body. I don't look at my shrinking bank account. And I sure as hell don't look at what others say about me if they don't like me. I look past the onslaught of time that this world brings, and I look towards the goal.

I didn't always think this was, and it nearly cost me my life. But after making some desisions, things took a better turn. Emotionally, anyways. I'm stronger emotionally than I was before, and spiritually as well.

You can chalk another point up for that Jesus fella. And His mom is pretty cool person to talk to as well.
jwrestle
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#19 Posted on 12.6.06 1414.43
Reposted on: 12.6.13 1415.36
I try to relax...

Like right now I have a part time job and not a full time career pay the bills type deal. I'm not rushing anything because I feel this probably one the most important moves in my recent life. So I've sort of become a recluse and let thoughts race through my mind on what I might do. Yeah, right now I don't have to worry about shelter but I do have to think about what I want do for a permanent income. Nothing has stuck in my mind long enough to say, "I want to do that". So, right now I'm indecisive...laying it wait, trying to stay calm, and not panic because it isn't worth burning my mind away on such irrational thought.
shinstrife
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#20 Posted on 12.6.06 1608.43
Reposted on: 12.6.13 1608.45
As a teenager, I haven't felt in a fit of dire straits as anyone has described her, but there have been tough spots in my life.

Exercising and eating well is one of the best decisions I've made in my life. I grew up eating junk food and soda because my dad's office was right next to a pharmacy with cheap goods. I'd have bits of depression, angst over my own talents. I did athletics off and on through junior high but my sophomore year of high school I decided to just start running. I haven't truly stopped since and it's such a good feeling.

God is also pretty fricking great if you can trust in him. My father surived alcoholism and a reminder he tends to point out to me whenever I'm down or stressed to realize "what you control and what you can't, and merely accept that higher powers will work and trust in them".
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